Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rev.Thomas Maxwell O'Connor

I recently read in the "Crosslight" July 2014 issue that Rev.Thomas Maxwell O'Connor had died on 8 April 2014. He was born in 1923 and spent his life as a minister in rural and urban congregations across Victoria.

I wish to dedicate this Post to Rev. Thomas Maxwell O'Connor.
I, Joy Olney, grew up in a "Methodist" home, and Max O'Connor was well known and loved in our family. I have very fond memories of holidaying in Newstead in September 1951 & 1953 when he was appointed there. As young girls we enjoyed the opportunity of being out in the country, picking wild flowers, milking the cow and riding on the tractor.  We often wondered why Max was single when he was such a "good catch"!

Travelling to Newstead in our Hillman JP525 in 1951.

Methodist Church at Newstead, Victoria.

Max O'Connor with Wyn Petfield and Joy on the Parsonage verandah at Newstead.
Joy & Dawn Petfield on the tractor at Max O'Connor's house.
Being September, the wildflowers were in abundance.

Max O'Connor often visited our family in Murrumbeena when he was appointed to South Oakleigh Methodist Church.

Max O'Connor and Kathleen Chancellor married on 2 October 1954 at Were Street, Brighton Methodist Church. The Bride wore a dainty frock of dusky pink faille (and large fine straw hat to match), which Margaret Fraser had made. Allan & Winsome Petfield were guests. Beatrice Macdougall attended at the Bride's home for tea. 

Beatrice Macdougall's diaries record that Margaret made quite a number of frocks for Kath prior to her wedding and also for her Mother. Margaret also made Maternity frocks for Kath prior to the birth of her first born son on 31 August 1955.

The Petfield family visited Max & Kath O'Connor in Newstead, Victoria - December 1954.
The Petfield family visited Max & Kath O'Connor at Newstead - December 1954.
Catching rabbits at Newstead - December 1954.

The Petfield family visited Max & Kath in Sale - January 1956

Max O'Connor and the Petfield, Fraser, Macdougall and Chancellor families go back a long way.
Max was a student at Otira Home Missionary Training College and Queen's College, Melbourne where Rev.Leslie S.Macdougall was one of his Tutors.
12 November 1946 Rev.Macdougall gave Max an Oral Theological exam with a 95% pass mark.
20 April 1947 Max preached at Were St, Brighton Text Psalms 21:1 and addressed the children on "Clearings in the Jungle".
10 February 1949 Max attended the Funeral of Rev.Leslie Macdougall at New St Methodist Church.

Max O'Connor and my Grandpa, Leslie Macdougall, shared many of the same traits like being passionate about the Word of God, had an academic mind and a high intellectual ability. They were both interested in Church History. It is interesting to note that Max founded the archives of the Methodist and Uniting Church and established the Synod Historical Society.  He was responsible for the rescue and preservation of many important documents valuable to the historical memory of the church.

May I suggest you take a look at my others Blogs, in particular -
Rev.Leslie S.Macdougall Diaries, Beatrice Macdougall Diaries and Macdougall Family Archives.
My Grandpa wrote very extensive diaries from 1895 - 1948 which covered the years of his ministry in the Methodist Church both in Tasmania and Victoria. He even wrote about Maxwell O'Connor.

1947 Queen's Theological College - Leslie Macdougall (seated 4th right)
 & Maxwell O'Connor (back row 2nd left)
1948 Queen's Theological College - Leslie Macdougall (seated 5th right)
 & Maxwell O'Connor (middle row 4th right)

A 10GB Presentation of Leslie and Beatrice Diaries, baptisms, preaching appointments, love letters and family collages is available.  The Uniting Church Archives also has a copy.

Go to my web site -
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